Everything seems to be kicking back into gear for the UFC. Their highly anticipated fight island events have got started. With the most recent event UFC 251 doing a fantastic buy rate of 1.3 million. Making it the highest drawing UFC event since UFC 229 when Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor.
Unfortunately for the UFC and Dana White they have an issue on their hands that needs to be handled.
A bad video has done the rounds recently regarding UFC Welterweight fighter Mike Perry. In the video Perry is seen punching and allegedly knocking out an older man during a dispute in a restaurant.
Perry is visibly furious and shouting very loudly. In the video you can see his girlfriend Latory Gonzalez trying to claim him down to no avail.
The incident took place at the Table 82 restaurant in Lubbock, Texas.
In the start of video Perry can also be seen shouting at a female employee of the restaurant.
In the video Perry and his girlfriend are seen walking out of the restaurant. As they get to the entrance of the establishment that’s when the altercation between Perry and the older man broke out. You can hear the two exchanging words with a quick scuffle breaking out.
Perry is seen landing a right hand on the man and sending him to the floor. According the people at the scene the man was knocked out and hit the concrete floor hard. Responding police officers have said the man was still unconcise when they arrived.
The man was taken to Covenant Medical Centre. Its believed the man said he was experiencing memory loss and doesn’t remember the incident or the aftermath.
According to the police reports released Perry allegedly got physical with three different diners that night. With one of the victims claiming he also hit a woman trying to break up the first altercation before a camera was recording.
The Police said Perry was still very angry when they arrived on the scene. In the video Perry sits outside waiting on the police to arrive repeating a racial slur and shouting at several people. Including his girlfriend.
Perry himself has said all of this happened because people were trying to touch him as he was leaving. He said an argument broke out between himself and the first victim. Mike Perry believed that man was talking about his girlfriend.
Perry explained why he got physically with the second victim. He said he put his hand on his should. In response he pushed him back and told everyone not to touch him. The second victim said he was just trying to intervene.
Perry then said as he went to leave the third victim the older man in the video grabbed his t-shirt. That’s when Perry punched him as seen in the video.
It’s a very messy situation. With different people giving different accounts of what happened. One thing is for sure its not a good look for Mike Perry as a professional fighter.
Perry did avoid getting arrested. He was charged with Class A assault which is a misdemeanour. He will have a day in court due to the incident and could be fined up to $500.
The closest thing we got to statement from Mike Perry was tweets he sent out after the incident. One tweet said “If you see us in public and you get too close, I’m gonna hit you. Social distancing says you gotta stay six feet away from us. You come in my bubble, you getting Sparta kicked in the nuts and f**kin stone cold stunnered, b*tch!”
He followed this up by tweeting “Please try me. I promise I will baptize you in the name of street Jesus!”
The UFC have released an official lengthy statement on the issue. The full statement can be found online but ill give you the takeaways from it.
The UFC said they are aware of the video and the behaviour of Perry doesn’t reflect them as a company. They have said Perry has apologised and is disappointed by his actions and letting down the UFC.
It’s also said Perry believes he has issues with alcohol and is committed to receiving professional help. This includes substance and behaviour treatment. Both parties agreed that they will evaluate the next step when Perry successfully complete his treatment. Perry also won’t be offered a fight anytime soon.
Unfortunately, Mike Perry does have a track record of controversial behaviour. Before entering the UFC Perry was involved with drugs, was under house arrest and probation violations. He would even spend time in jail for burglary.
He has been involved in similar incidents. On New Years Ever in 2016 he knocked a man unconscious during a street fight in Orlando, Florida.
He has also gained criticism for his use of homophobic and racial slurs in public.
Even this year has been a rocky one for Perry. He publicly separated from his wife Danielle Nickerson.
He also left his most recent team Fusion XL Academy in Florida. Venting frustration on coaches and saying he doesn’t need them. He even proved this in his last fight. Picking up a decision win against Micky Gall back in June. With only his girlfriend Gonzalez in his corner who has zero MMA experience in any capacity.
He is a controversial character to say the least.
Should He Be Punished?
Yes of course he should.
People are defending him saying its self-defence and he was antagonised. That simply doesn’t matter. He is a professional fighter he can’t be punching the general public. He could have done serious long-term damage. If he felt like things were escalating, he could of easily took this man down and grappled him. Punching him full force should have never been an option.
If you are a high-level well-known fighter like Perry, you must control yourself better.
I can understand with the current pandemic you want people to keep their distance. There was no need for him to let the incident get as out of hand as it did. He can’t be getting physically with several people like he allegedly did.
Even if you think he didn’t start it how he ended it was idiotic.
He is going through a lot and this isn’t an isolated incident. As a fan of him as a fighter I’m happy to hear he is getting help.
It’s not even up for discussing. Look at how former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra handled a similar situation.
He subdued a drunk man harassing a waitress in Las Vegas. All he did was wrestle the man to the ground and controlled him until the police came. Not a single punch was thrown because it wasn’t needed. The same way Perry didn’t need to throw a single punch in that restaurant.
Will He Be Punished?
Now it does get complicated if the UFC do severely punish Perry.
UFC starlet Conor McGregor was involved in a similar incident punching an old man in a pub in Dublin. McGregor faced no significant punishment for the incident. You can’t have two different standards for two different fighters. No matter the calibre and drawing ability of the fighter.
The same goes for Jon Jones who has had plenty of high profiled run ins with the law. Yet remains as an active UFC fighter.
If Dana White does cut Mike Perry even though he punched a civilian it would be a bad look for him and the UFC.
You can’t fire Perry and keep the likes of McGregor and Jones with the company. It doesn’t matter if the latter are bigger assets to the company. Perry could have a very winnable unjust firing or discrimination case if it does happen.
What Will Happen?
Great to hear Perry is seeking professional help. Hopefully, he does come back a better person. On his day he is a fun and wild fighter to watch. That aspect of him needs to stay in the cage not outside it.
It will be fascinating to see what the UFC do going forward with this one. It was a disgusting thing to do. They have set a precedent with big stars like McGregor and Jones. To fire Perry and not those two for similar incidents and run ins with the law would be hypocritical from the UFC.
Mike Perry should defiantly face some sort of punishment by the UFC. They should fire him the same way they should have fired McGregor and Jones. If we are going off their track record, they probably can’t fire him.
It doesn’t matter about how much money you make the company. A wrong act should be punishable by termination of contract. The UFC have backed themselves into a corner here. More than likely we will see Mike Perry back in the Octagon at some stage.